Please note: All Optional Kindergarten classes are located at South Prairie Elementary.
HOW DO I DECIDE BETWEEN OPTIONAL KINDERGARTEN AND KINDERGARTEN FOR MY CHILD? Optional Kindergarten is a program for students who are old enough to enroll in Kindergarten but may need an extra year to prepare for full-day Kindergarten. The Optional Kindergarten program focuses on the same skills and concepts as Kindergarten, but there is much more time allowed for mastery. If you are interested in more information regarding the Optional Kindergarten program, please see the Optional Kindergarten informational sheet.
HOW OLD DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BE TO ATTEND KINDERGARTEN OR OPTIONAL KINDERGARTEN? In order for your child to be eligible for enrollment in Kindergarten or Optional Kindergarten, he/she must be five years old on or before September 15th.
WHEN SHOULD I REGISTER MY CHILD FOR KINDERGARTEN OR OPTIONAL KINDERGARTEN? The registration window opens on March 1st. In order for the district to prepare, please have your registration completed by March 18th.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE FOR KINDERGARTEN AND OPTIONAL KINDERGARTEN? Kindergarten classes meet Monday-Friday, beginning at 8:15 AM and dismissing at 3:15 PM.
Optional Kindergarten classes meet on a half-day schedule Monday-Friday at South Prairie Elementary. There will not be Optional classes on 1pm early dismissal days.
- Morning Section: 8:15-11:15 AM
- Afternoon Section: 12:15-3:15 pm
IF I LIVE OUTSIDE OF THE DC-G SCHOOL DISTRICT, CAN I STILL REGISTER MY CHILD FOR KINDERGARTEN OR OPTIONAL KINDERGARTEN? If you live outside of the district and would like to register your child, please call the District Office at (515) 992-3866 and speak with the District Registrar about the open-enrollment process. You can access the open enrollment application by visiting the School Registration section of the website. Even if you already have students open-enrolled in the DC-G school district, you must also complete the open- enrollment application for your Kindergarten (or Optional Kindergarten) student.
HOW DO I REGISTER MY CHILD FOR KINDERGARTEN OR OPTIONAL KINDERGARTEN? Please refer to the registration section on the website and follow the process for either an existing family or a new family to the district.
HOW DO I REGISTER MY CHILD IF I DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO A COMPUTER OR HAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS? There is a registration kiosk available at the Administration Office located at 2405 W. 1st Street, Grimes. Please come between the hours of 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM or by appointment. You may also visit the public library, as they have public computers available with internet access.
I HAVE OLDER CHILDREN ALREADY ENROLLED AT DC-G SCHOOLS. CAN I REGISTER THEM ALL AT ONCE WITH MY KINDERGARTENER? Yes! Please refer to the School Registration section of the website and follow the process for an existing family. Be sure to include your Kindergarten child under the “Student” tab, “Add New Student” when you are registering for the upcoming school year.
WHAT PAPERWORK SHOULD I HAVE READY BEFORE REGISTERING MY CHILD FOR KINDERGARTEN? Existing families with Parent Portal accounts will need a digital copy of your child’s immunization record. The immunization record must state the student’s full name and birthdate. New families to the district will need the paperwork listed above along with a digital copy of proof of residency (ex: a scanned copy of a utility bill or purchase/lease agreement with your name and address listed).
WHAT IS THE COST FOR MY CHILD TO ATTEND KINDERGARTEN OR OPTIONAL KINDERGARTEN? All students in Optional Kindergarten through 12th grade require payment of an annual book/technology fee.
I JUST REGISTERED MY KINDERGARTENER. WHY DON’T I SEE THEM IN MY PARENT PORTAL? Your Kindergartener will not be visible in your Parent Portal until the school year starts on July 1st.
WHEN WILL I KNOW THE BUILDING ASSIGNMENT FOR MY KINDERGARTENER? The district uses neighborhood boundaries to determine child placement for elementary. Your child will be enrolled in the elementary building within your neighborhood boundaries when possible. Please note: Due to maximum enrollment numbers, your child may be placed in an alternate elementary building.
For students who are open-enrolled, your child’s placement will be determined based upon enrollment numbers at each building. This information may not be available until July or August. You will receive an email, letter, or a phone call once placements have been determined.
WHO SHOULD I CALL IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS? If you have additional questions, please contact the office at one of the elementary buildings. They may be reached at the contact phone numbers listed below:
- South Prairie Elementary: (515) 986-4057
- North Ridge Elementary: (515) 986-5674
- Heritage Elementary: (515) 300-9627
- Dallas Center Elementary: (515) 992-3838
- District Registrar: (515)992-3866
Optional Kindergarten is a program for students who are Kindergarten eligible (must be 5 by September 15th) and may need an extra year to prepare for full-day Kindergarten.
Just because your child will be five does not mean that they are ready to master all five- year old skills. We take your child where they are and adjust our curriculum to support academic, social, and emotional readiness. In Kindergarten, frustration can develop because the curriculum is counting on certain skills to already be mastered at the beginning of the year. Optional Kindergarten is not for “behavior kids” – it is an extra year to grow academically and emotionally before Kindergarten.
Our program focuses on many of the same skills and concepts as Kindergarten. The difference is the speed and mastery level expectations. For example, in Kindergarten, they are typically done learning letters after the first several weeks of school. In Optional Kindergarten, we take the time to make sure the students know and are comfortable with letters before we move on. We do not expect and count on mastery right away.
Our curriculum is based on the following readiness skills:
*Social and Emotional Development – Students will work on getting along and playing with others, taking turns, gaining independence, focusing on a given task, following directions, and becoming more confident.
*Academic Development – Students will work on a variety of math and literacy skills. These include number recognition, counting, patterning, sorting, writing numbers, and basic story problems. Our main focuses for literacy are letter recognition and sounds, word segmenting, beginning sounds, sounding out and writing words, sight words, word families, and retelling stories.
*Fine Motor Development – Students will work on refining fine motor skills that include holding their writing utensil correctly and using scissors properly.
Optional Kindergarten is a half-day program that meets Monday-Friday. The morning section meets from 8:15-11:15 and the afternoon section from 12:15-3:15. All Optional Kindergarten classes are located at South Prairie Elementary. Optional Kindergarten classes will not be in session on 1:00 dismissal days.